CWC accepts US$8.2bn Liberty bid – Regional

Mexico to turn off analog signal in more cities, including Guadalajara – Caribbean

Roundup: Nokia, SAS, NCR – Brazil, Regional

Ericsson, Inmarsat ink maritime connectivity agreement – Regional

Honduras connects 2,000 schools to internet – Honduras



CWC accepts US$8.2bn Liberty bid – Regional

Caribbean and Central American telco Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) has accepted a US$8.2bn offer from global pay TV group Liberty Global for 100% of its share capital, CWC confirmed on Monday.

The offer represents a premium of approximately 50% over the price of freely trading CWC shares on October 21, when Liberty first announced plans to negotiate the acquisition.

The operation, expected to conclude in 2Q16, will combine CWC’s 6.3mn customers in Latin America and the Caribbean with Liberty’s 1.5mn clients in Puerto Rico (Liberty Cablevisión) and Chile (VTR).

As of March 2015 CWC also counts among its assets some 728,000 clients acquired through its merger with Caribbean cable TV provider Columbus International. As a result of that operation Liberty Global’s chairman and largest shareholder, John Malone, obtained a holding of about 22% in CWC.

Globally, Liberty has a total client base of 27mn subscribers, mostly in Europe. For the last complete financial year CWC and Liberty reported revenues of US$2.4bn and US$18bn respectively.


Mexico to turn off analog signal in more cities, including Guadalajara – Caribbean

Mexico’s telecom watchdog IFT gave the order to turn off the analog signal in 23 more cities on December 16, including the country’s second largest, Guadalajara in Jalisco state.

Others among the 23 are Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña, in Coahuila state, which are significant since the analog signal in both is occupying part of the 700MHz band, which the watchdog and ministry are planning to free up and auction off next year.

The transport and communications ministry (SCT) announced that, as established by law, 90% penetration of digital TV sets and decoders had been achieved in Guadalajara, Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña, and 19 other town and cities: Isla de Cedros (Baja California); Atotonilco el Alto, Autlán de Navarro, La Barca, Ciudad Guzmán (Jalisco); Ciudad Hidalgo, Los Reyes Salgado, Morelia, Puruándiro, Zamora, Zinepécuaro, Zitácuaro, Apatzigán, Pátzcuaro, Urupán (Michoacán); San Fernando (Tamaulipas); Monclova, Nueva Rosita, Sabinas (Coahuila); and Cananea (Sonora).

The only city left using part of the 700MHz band for broadcasting is Ensenada, in Baja California. IFT has not included this city in upcoming analog blackouts.

Despite numerous delays and controversy regarding the digital TV switchover, SCT said recently that the process is going according to plan and the December 31 deadline for the nationwide analog blackout will be met.


Roundup: Nokia, SAS, NCR – Brazil, Regional

Nokia has appointed Dimitri Diliani as its new director for Latin America.

Diliani will oversee the merger of regional operations of the company that is in the process of acquiring Alcatel-Lucent.

The executive is currently regional director of Nokia Networks and previously held positions as the company’s director for the Africa region.

Nokia announced last month it had received all the regulatory approvals to proceed with the filing of its public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent. The offer is expected to be settled in 1Q16.


Analytics specialist SAS has appointed Daniela Fontolan as its channel partner manager for Brazil.

The company plans to expand its indirect software sales channel in 2016 and to carry out an intensive training program.

Fontolan said the biggest challenge is to find new systems integrators, expand the resale program and maintain quality of service.

The executive has a marketing post graduate degree from the MacKenzie University. Since 1997 she has held channel partner positions in CA Technologies, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle.


Financial transactions services company NCR has appointed Francisco Campos as sales director, Mariana Miranda as sales operations manager and Dorival da Silva as sales manager for the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Campos worked for 28 years in IBM in business development and account management in Brazil. At NCR he will be responsible for sales to the financial services segment.

Miranda has worked as operations manager in Lenovo and Samsung and has postgraduate business administration studies.

Da Silva will seek to open new markets at NCR and has 14 years of experience working in companies including Okidata do Brasil, Itautec Philco and Bradesco.


Ericsson, Inmarsat ink maritime connectivity agreement – Regional

Swedish telecoms equipment supplier Ericsson and satellite services provider Inmarsat have signed an agreement intended to facilitate the sharing of cargo, logistics and vessel operational data to help streamline the maritime supply chain.

The companies said they will jointly develop services, solutions and applications to drive industry standards for satellite connectivity and application integration in the shipping industry.

As a first step, Ericsson signed a distribution contract to offer XpressLink, Inmarsat’s combined L-band and Ku-band VSAT network.

XpressLink is powered by the new Global Xpress satellite launched at the end of August.

Inmarsat COO Ruy Pinto told BNamericas at the time of the launch that the Global Xpress satellite is aimed at boosting coverage in the Americas with higher data capacity, lower prices and to appeal to a broader client base.

Ericsson said that the satellite connectivity would boost integration of its maritime ICT cloud, which is an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service and customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities.

Ericsson has been pushing the trend towards Internet of Things (IoT) technology and has been signing numerous partnerships to push that strategy forward. Earlier this month Ericsson and Cisco Systems signed a strategic partnership to work jointly on next generation networks for IoT.

Pinto said that IoT would drive business opportunities for satellite communications as they can be used to connect sensors in remote locations and moving objects.


Honduras connects 2,000 schools to internet – Honduras

Honduras’ telecom watchdog Conatel announced the completion of the first phase of its connectivity project Internet del Pueblo, bringing the internet to 2,000 schools.

The final project will bring the web to 3,000 schools, 50 public squares and 30 professional training centers. In total 2mn Hondurans will benefit from free internet under the program, including the 700,000 students that already have free access.

The project will require total investment of US$17mn, and will be developed over two years.

Honduras is the last Latin American country to kick-start a connectivity project designed to increase internet penetration, particularly to rural and hard-to-reach populations.

Neighboring Mexico’s project México Conectado is aiming to connect 250,000 public places by 2018. Launched last year, it had connected 65,000 places by end-2014.

According to Conatel, internet reached 17.8% of Hondurans in 2013, up from 15.3% in 2012 and 11.8% in 2010.

The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CANTO and/or its members